Wednesday, October 31, 2007 - Tennis news from around the world

This site will keep us updated on Andy Murrary's progress relative to the other two contenders for the end of season tournement. - Tennis news from around the world

So far so good

Liverpool to host 2008 MTV awards

Liverpool lands 2008 MTV awards

That's a great coup for the city in it's Capital of Culture year

"Liverpool's new Echo Arena will host next year's MTV Europe Music Awards ceremony, organisers have announced.

It will be the third time the annual event has been held in the UK, following shows in London in 1996 and Edinburgh in 2003.

"Not only is it the European Capital of Culture next year but the influence of its rich musical heritage is still felt today," producer Richard Godfrey said.

Munich's Olympiahalle hosts this year's show, which takes place on Thursday.

Mr Godfrey, the event's executive producer and MTV Networks senior vice-president, added that "it was only natural" that Liverpool should host the awards, scheduled for 6 November 2008."

liverpool star's payslip on web

liverpool star's payslip on web

Deary me he's a careless bugger isn't he. Remember this :

John Arne Riise declared bankrupt

Now John Arne Riise's payslip turns up on the net

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

More dirty laundry

Flintoff drunk during Ashes practice

"Former England coach Duncan Fletcher has said a training session was cancelled because Andrew Flintoff was under the influence of alcohol.

The incident happened during last winter's Ashes tour to Australia where Flintoff was captain.

Fletcher told the Daily Mail: "You just hope the players do not let you down. Sadly Flintoff did.

'We arranged a fielding practice in Sydney. He turned up still under the influence of alcohol.'"

Whilst yesterday I said you should never do you dirty washing public this probably did need to come out...Pretty appalling really.

Botham & Boycott are a pair of pests

Fletcher rounds on pundits

This seems a touch un-necessary....any chance of any dignity in sport. I know you've all got books to flog and everything but come on.

Monday, October 29, 2007

BBC SPORT | Rugby Union | English | Dallaglio slams Ashton's approach

BBC SPORT | Rugby Union | English | Dallaglio slams Ashton's approach

Not impressed at all with Dallaglio's doing the dirty laundry in public. Slagging off his manager just to flog a few extra copies of his book. Very poor indeed.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

what a difference a week makes

Phew, what a difference a week makes eh…last weekend England and Everton had been beaten victims of varying degrees of dodgy refereeing and Waterloo had been beaten tamely at Cambridge. Bit depressing let me tell you.

Thursday’s UEFA game again Larissa was a real tonic for our battered egos so Saturday was “once more onto the breach” as we tripped out to Blundellsands for Waterloo v Blackheath. As I’ve mentioned before in this blog Blackheath are a club dripping with history and it’s a real privelige to line up against them. Getting there nice and early we got a pint & watched the teams warm up. Blackheath certainly looked like they meant business the coach extolled them to drive Waterloo back over their own ruck *insert thick cockney accent* “They can’t piggin’ well play a game if they are goin’ backwards”. His team took these words to heart. A knock-on and a scrum penalty resulted in a penalty within the first minute, then a rolling maul had Waterloo retreating most of their half and a try was touched down. Oops, 8-0 before we’d even got hold of the ball. Blackheath were one of the top teams in the table so things were looking ominous. Waterloo finally woke up and gradually began to hold their own and a great try meant it was 11-8 at half time. Waterloo could be pretty happy with that after the start they’d had.

Second half it has to be said Waterloo were fantastic...out front & backline defence, attacking, kicking, lineout everything clicked into place. The game hinged on a ranging Blackheath attack that was just bumped into touch on the line. From there Waterloo did everything right and Blackheath seemed to wilt allowing the team to play most of the last 20 minutes in the opposing 22 and us to barrack the Blackheath scrum-half for is shamelessly casual rolled down socks. The end result was a great home win including a bonus point for a try right at the death. Joyous atmosphere, the clubhouse was bouncing because everyone knew that Blackheath were no mugs. It has been a bit ropey so far this season...this was a brilliant performance.

Blackheath Website Report

Winning following a European game is a real test of a team. Everton’s Sunday trip to Derby County had “Banana skin” written all over it. It would have been very ‘Everton’ for us to balls up in a game we really needed to win to get our league season heading in the right direction. Thankfully a tame Derby County succumbed to a 2-0 defeat without having a shot on target. Arteta and Yakubu grabbing the goals for us.

All of a sudden everything seems rosey.

BBC Match Report

Friday, October 26, 2007

I've never felt more like singing the blues

Everton 3 - 1 AE Larissa - UEFA Cup Group A

Great to see Everton cut in a decent performance in Europe. That second goal in particular was fantastic. Insightful passing move and a great finish.

Howard blotted his copybook by rolling the ball to Lescott when he was in a dangerous position, he scarcely had a chance to collect it let alone get rid. A comfortable 2-0 turned into a nervy 2-1 until Anichebe settled matters. Great to see Cahill back...he was immense, linking our lone striker with our midfield and supporting at every opportunity. Three good goals and three good points for our group. COYB

EDIT : Probably a bit harsh on Howard giving him all the blame for their goal...if Lescott had been more aware he could have got rid but it was still a bad option for the keeper to pick

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Έβερτον v Αθλητική Ένωση Λάρισας

Looking forward to Έβερτον v Αθλητική Ένωση Λάρισας tonight...hope they don't do to us what they did to Blackburn. Could be a tricky one. Rumours that Cahill and Gravesen are in the squad make you more optimistic. Apparently Vaughan is nearing fitness too.

The UEFA cup is still poo though.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

icLiverpool - Time for Big Ben to strike again

icLiverpool - Time for Big Ben to strike again

Great article about Big Ben Kay :

"Kay was popular on the pitch but the seat next to him on the coach home from away matches was the one all Waterloo players dreaded.

Blyth revealed: “We would always get crates of beer on board for the long journeys back.

“We had a bit of a ritual where whoever had missed a tackle or done something wrong during the game would be singled out.

“They would then have their wrists taped to Ben's wrist as their punishment.

“It meant that whenever Ben had a drink the victim didn't have much choice but to have a swig as well. With Ben being a big lad and being able to handle his beer it would be fair to say that sometimes it got very messy.”"

Lightning strikes twice

Too gutted to write about the derby...."robbed", "cheat", "corrupt" & "pathetic" would all have been used though. Mark Clattenberg hang your head in shame.

The world cup final was similarly gutting...having been on a post-derby all-dayer we got to Waterloo about 6:30 and found it already filling up. The others got there about 7 and we settled in a lovely spot for the game pepped up by a fundamentally welcome plate of curry. Noticed Freeman Payne and Jan van deVenter in the bar so the Saffas were represented too. The game was pretty tight and ultimately the better team won. Congrats to South Africa....England played above themselves and stayed with their more talented opponents....that was all we could hope for, by the end we were out of touch. We were never going to turn round and put on a try-fest to get back in the game and so the spoils headed south. The try might have changed things plus a fair few other decisions all went against England some marginal, some utterly blatant. With a different referee we might have been within a score at the end and then who knows.

Gutted, gutted, gutted.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Gambler - Kenny Rogers

The Gambler - Kenny Rogers

On a warm summers evenin on a train bound for nowhere,
I met up with the gambler; we were both too tired to sleep.
So we took turns a starin out the window at the darkness
til boredom overtook us, and he began to speak.

He said, son, Ive made a life out of readin peoples faces,
And knowin what their cards were by the way they held their eyes.
So if you dont mind my sayin, I can see youre out of aces.
For a taste of your whiskey Ill give you some advice.

So I handed him my bottle and he drank down my last swallow.
Then he bummed a cigarette and asked me for a light.
And the night got deathly quiet, and his face lost all expression.
Said, if youre gonna play the game, boy, ya gotta learn to play it right.

You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when youre sittin at the table.
Therell be time enough for countin when the dealins done.

Now evry gambler knows that the secret to survivin
Is knowin what to throw away and knowing what to keep.
cause evry hands a winner and evry hands a loser,
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.

So when hed finished speakin, he turned back towards the window,
Crushed out his cigarette and faded off to sleep.
And somewhere in the darkness the gambler, he broke even.
But in his final words I found an ace that I could keep.

You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when youre sittin at the table.
Therell be time enough for countin when the dealins done.

You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count you r money when youre sittin at the table.
Therell be time enough for countin when the dealins done.

Winning from the back foot

Watched two games of rugby on Saturday and it has to be said that both results were a bit of a travesty. Waterloo just couldn't get to grips with Redruth but were gifted two tries and in the end won 25 - 19. A win is a win but again they looked scrappy. Great to see O'Donnell and Ruwers back for us. Both superb players. Commiserated with a Redruth coach after them game...they were anice bunch and they deserved better from their long trek up north. Hopefully their lowly league position will just be a temporary false position.

Fame at last! Here is me, Mike Summers and my mother and father in law in the background of this picture taken by Katherine Pitt and lifted from the Redruth website.

The France/England game later on was even more crazy...I had been telling people all day I wasn't bothered about the result, the beating Australia was enough for me. It was still stupidly tense to watch that game though. England were on the back foot all game but the French just couldn't make the break was frantic, nail-biting stuff. I could barely watch as Wilkinson lined up that last penalty and I was bouncing round the room when he slotted the drop goal. Borthwick's slap on a French foot when he looked certain to score and the smashes on Chabal showed how desperate England are to hold onto the world cup. South Africa are favourites but they are beatable. Gutted for the French...they too deserved better especially after hosting such a fantastic world cup. Anyway roll on next Saturday. The Derby and then a world cup final....big, big day.

Anyway the world waits for the Web Ellis Trophy to handed over and the competitions for the Guinness Premiership, Magners League & Heineken Cup trophies are getting underway...I think any true rugby fan will agree that those are mere gaudy trinkets compared to Percy the Pike who was brought proudly back to Waterloo's clubhouse recently after a long absense. Waterloo and Dublin Wanderers play-off for what certainly must be considered the ultimate prize in rugby and here he is pictured gazing down fondly on the clubhouse bar

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Amongst the day's rugby shenanegans it was great to see England put in another business like 3-0 win against Estonia. A slip-up there would have put us in an awkward position going into the game in Moscow.

Great to see Lescott get a cap and it sounded like the James McFadden show up in Scotland. He set up two and scored another to keep their qualification campaign on track.

Friday, October 12, 2007

O'Neill promises to buy a scrum - Rugby - Fox Sports

O'Neill promises to buy a scrum - Rugby - Fox Sports

"Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O'Neill declared it was time to reward the heavy lifters in the front row.

The most glaring deficiency in the Australian team exposed by last weekend's quarter-final loss to England was the lack of quality props. It is probably no overstatement to suggest that had England loosehead Andy Sheridan been wearing a gold jersey instead of white, the Wallabies would have won pulling away.

But, as former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones observed this week, Sheridan is a product of a British system that prizes, and judges, props almost exclusively on their scrummaging ability. That is unlike Australia, where any likely-looking front-rowers are judged primarily on their footballing ability, with scrummaging a secondary consideration.

The failed cup campaign has left Australia with no option but to mimic the British model and that means providing meaningful incentives for front-rowers to become world-class scrummagers."

Wondered whether there'd be a reaction...There had to be really. The Wallabies couldn't take the defeat lightly. Basically Australia were bullied by bigger boys....and those bigger boys were English. We were physically stronger and tougher than them, there is no way the Australian public will stand for that.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

England in one-day shock

Ie. we won another series...fantastic work. Great to see the new boys coming to the fore. A bit of optimism? We'll know when the tests roll round. Bring it on.

England secure series win against Sri Lanka

Love it that Sri Lanka are sponsored by's our favourite tea in the world!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Wallabies to lift England burden | The Australian

Wallabies to lift England burden | The Australian:

Written before the Rugby World Cup it and weep.

"The poor English, bumblers that they are, have fallen short throughout this tournament on all three criteria: style and humour and most definitely good intent. They were dreadful against the US, beyond dreadful against the Springboks and so pathetically grateful to have seen off Samoa and Tonga that even Australians found themselves feeling embarrassed for them.

In the space of a few short weeks, England has gone from swaggering to staggering and now, with its last roll of the dice, the best it can come up with to defeat Australia is to pick a pack of bully boys and an endearingly earnest five-eighth who doesn't kick heads but goals instead.

Four years ago, the English wore the belt of world heavyweight champions and were floating on air. Now it forces them down like a lead weight and they can't wait to rid themselves of the damn thing. The English are just not cut out to be world champions. They have so little experience of sporting success that when it happens, it leaves them drained and exhausted. Rugby World Cup 2003, Ashes 2005.

Even as Martin Johnson and Michael Vaughan were holding aloft their spoils of victory, their arms were getting tired. The load was too heavy, the weight of expectation too great. Best to lay down their burden and rest quietly for a while. The Wallabies would gladly take the Webb Ellis Cup off their hands. In truth, it belongs to them, but, good sports that they are, they've been willing to share it over the years and didn't even demand first go.

That's how New Zealand happened to come by it in 1987, but then in 1991 it was returned to Australia, who allowed South Africa to hold it for a while, took it back again in 1999 before, charitably, giving England a feel. Now, as John Eales points out, it's Australia's turn again."

Not sure whether this was all tongue-in-cheek but it's amazing how England are the ones who are always labelled as arrogant

Get used to forever

Horrible day for Australia and New Zealand

Ruthless Redcoats crush green and gold army

Chokers and jokers

Australian rugby blog

"There will be suggestions that "the Wallabies didn't want to win as much as England." Nonsense. The passion and desire was there, as the tears after the game showed. But, as the France-New Zealand boilover showed as well, momentum in sport is a mighty engine. England and France got momentum, a belief that they could and were, in fact, going to win.

The momentum in the end was irresistible. You could see it in the last plays of the match when England were in their own 22 and attacked the rucks and mauls and made telling tackles as if the game had just started.

In a sense, it has for England and France. No team has won a World Cup after losing a group match. Who is to say that one of these two teams, probably France, will be the first to emulate Saint Denis and achieve what has seemed to be impossible?"

Get used to forever

Well written but depressing piece on the All Blacks loss.

"The All Blacks had just lost 18-20 to the French in Cardiff, blowing a 13-0 lead. Luke McAlister had been put through a yawning gap after a superb delayed pass by Dan Carter, and with the timely support of Jerry Collins had scored a sensational try, but after half-time the youngster was sitting on the sideline taking a ten minute spell while the game changed.

The French exploited their numerical advantage and flanker Thierry Dusatoir levelled the scores. Rodney So’oialo drove over to regain the lead but McAlister’s almost first act upon returning was to miss the conversion. Carter and Collins by this stage had limped off along with Byron Kelleher, Anton Oliver and Keith Robinson.

While New Zealand’s power diminished, the French Bench had them going from strength to strength. First came Sebastian Chabal then Frederic Michalak. With every All Black that limped off and fire-breathing Gaul that ran on, the pendulum kept swinging France’s way. Michalak’s first touch was to collect a forward pass from Damian Traille, gallop through the blindside hole where Collins would have been and give Yannick Jauzion a clear path to the line, setting off wild scenes of celebration and the horns of about five million Peugeots, Renaults and Citroens all over France."

Here is another one, I think perhaps this one is a little too scathing :

"To win sport's biggest prizes, you have to absorb and learn, not lecture and preach. You must be humble. The All Blacks have never been humble. They are told they are special from the moment they first pull on the famous shirt and they expect special treatment from the rest of the world. The All Blacks ethos is their Achilles heel.

They are huge fish in a small pool and everything they do or say goes unquestioned. If Graham Henry and the New Zealand Rugby Union want to rip up the Super 14 and take their top 22 players out of the competition for special fitness training for two months, they plough right ahead. If you happen to be Sky television, or the Australian and South African rugby unions, it is tough. The All Blacks have spoken.

That haughtiness and insularity explains why they blindly defended Tana Umaga and Keven Mealamu when they nearly maimed Lions captain Brian O'Driscoll. They would have done New Zealand rugby a much bigger service by banning the duo for two months apiece. Dream on."

It does however offer an interesting insight...the quiet confidence England showed last time round was roundly dismissed and the old 'arrogance' brick-bats were brought out of the locker. In 2003 it didn't serve the hosts as well as they hoped...A seige mentality helped England, coupled to this Woodward had everything planned to the nth degree and so when Australia equalled the scored in extra time the team stepped up to the plate and went through the motions. They were criticised all year for taking the flair out of the game but at the end of extra time in the world cup final no-one panicked...they just put into motion a set of well rehearsed mechanisms for getting that winning drop goal.

This time round it's difficult to disagree with the notion that the All Blacks are the best team in the world with Australia rated, perhaps generously looking at South Africa, as number two and yet both are sharing a plane home after the quarter finals (against teams that scraped through as runner-up in their groups remember). Whilst this plane-sharing is great for reducing their carbon footprints it's caused a lot of soul searching back home.

I do think Australia's problem was that although they were a better team overall than England they were unforgivably inferior in the front-5 department. Scrums were a nightmare for them and that left 5 players basically out of the game. Does the fact that they allowed this situation to arise hint at under-estimating England? They do like their sledging and pre-game sneers...perhaps this time they just made the mistake of believing them.

New Zealand's problem I think was more internal...perhaps they believed their own not replicating Woodward's minutae approach they were possibly a little quixotic. You can always say The skills will pay the bills, New Zealand had the skills in spades but when it goes off the rails you need a clearly laid-out plan for recovery. France's forward pass will be remembered as the thing that put the much vaunted best team in the world out of the World Cup but the reaction to that score was far too cavalier. It's sad to say it dour pragmatism is what you need doesn't make for breath-taking rugby but the two antipodean sides are learning what can be achieved with it (England's forward based victory) and what can happen when it there at least as a plan b (New Zealand trying garryowens and drop goals instead of playing slow ball and foracing a pen). Either way it's back to the drawing board for two of the best teams on the planet.


UEFA Cup Group A

October 25 Larissa Home
November 8 Nurnberg Away
November 29 No game
December 5 Zenit Home
December 20 Alkmaar Away

Could have been worse...some nice ties in there. Bolton and Aberdeen both got ultra-tough groups but they'll have a lot of fun along the way. Looking forwardin particular to Nurmeburg and Alkmaar. Would love to be able to are getting booked up already though.


Group A

AZ Alkmaar
Zenit St Petersburg

Group B
Lokomotiv Moscow
Atletico Madrid

Group C
AEK Athens
Mlada Boleslav

Group D
Stade Rennais
Dinamo Zagreb

Group E
Bayer Leverkusen
Sparta Prague
Spartak Moscow
FC Zurich

Group F
Bayern Munich
Red Star Belgrade
Aris Thessaloniki

Group G
Hapoel Tel-Aviv

Group H
Austria Vienna

Monday, October 08, 2007

BBC SPORT | Rugby World Cup Blog

BBC SPORT | Rugby World Cup Blog:

"Not only was their win over Ireland splashed over the front pages, but the epic ‘El Superclasico’ derby between Boca Juniors and River Plate this weekend has had its kick-off time moved so as not to clash with television coverage of the upcoming last-eight clash with Scotland."

Get to see the Argentinians getting the plaudits and the profile they deserve. I'd actually like to see them win it.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Back to earth

After all the euphoria of the last few days Everton and Waterloo brought us back to earth with a bump after both going down to defeats away from home.

Newcastle 3-2 Everton

Stourbridge 38-19 Waterloo


Saturday, October 06, 2007

England's chariot arrives right on time

England 21 - 10 Australia

Unbelievable. Stunning result. To everyone who's spent the last 4 years reveling in taking the piss out of England...Hope you enjoyed it 'cause believe me it didn't feel 0.000001% as good as today did. Not crowing, not gloating, just letting everyone know how good we are feeling.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home
Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home

I looked over Jordan, and I what did I see
Coming for to carry me home?
A band of angels coming after me
Coming for to carry me home

If you get there before I do
Coming for to carry me home
Tell all my friends I coming too
Coming for to carry me home

I'm sometimes up, I'm sometimes down
Coming for to carry me home
But still my soul feels heavenly bound
Coming for to carry me home

Or to put it another way "Paul Hogan, Dame Edna, Skippy, Mrs Mangel....Mrs Mangel can you hear me? Your boys took one hell of beating" ;)

Friday, October 05, 2007



Metalist 2 - 3 Everton

So chuffed with that last night. Forget the ropey performance, forget that we backed ourselves into a corner it was just great to see us come back like that to keep the European campaign alive. The group stage beckons....bring it on.

Not a penalty!

Above all I am chuffed for the 1500-2000 travelling blues who went to the back end of Ukraine on a Thursday night for that. Fantastic stuff.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Uefa to probe Celtic fan attack

BBC SPORT | Football | Europe | Uefa to probe Celtic fan attack

How stupid can you be? That Celtic fan tapping Dida on the shoulder has left them wide open for forfitting the points. Dida's reacton was pitiful at best and at worst shocking cynical (He get's tapped on the shoulder runs 5 yards then collapses and stays there 'til they stretcher him off with an ice-pack on his face). The fact is, however, there isn't a steward in site....Celtic will rightly get the book thrown at them for failing to control their fans. A few games behind closed doors might well be in order. Just 'cause of one idiot.

all for nothing?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Darragh MacAnthony - Peterborough United

Darragh MacAnthony - My hobbies Peterborough Utd

The more I hear about this guy the more I like him (apart from this shameless redsh*iteness)....really hope it all goes well for them down there. Not sure if the Premiership inside 5 years is a touch ambitious but good luck to them. Great to see someone investing in footy just for the love of it and even better to see a loyal hardcore bunch of fans getting properly excited about their club again.